and other necessaries, which call was quickly and correctly responded to, which gave great comfort to both men and horses in a most tremendous rain-storm.
After a bivouac of about three hours, and the return of my detachment sent out in every direction, I had a consultation with all the commanders of the different arms which resulted in the determination to return to Suffolk; and it being in accordance with instructions I started at 5.50 p.m. on the Petersburg road via Providence Church, draw-bridge, &c., on my return,and reported in person to the commanding general at 8 p.m. on the night of the 10th instant. I found that the new regiments of infantry lately arrived (One hundred and fifty-fifth and One hundred and sixty-fourth) used their entire three days' rations in two,and did not take with them their shelter-tents. I find these shelter tents to be of indispensable use on reconnaissance, marched, &c., as they do for both blanket, bed, or tent, as the weather might demand.
It gives me great pleasures to report the fact of the valuable assistance rendered by Colonel Gibbs, commanding the infantry. Nearly the entire three days and nights he was constantly in the saddle, first at one point and then at another, encouraging his men, supplying their wants, and exhibiting sound judgment in all his orders, positions, and maneuvers, ever ready at a moment's warming to place the infantry, without noise or confusion, at any place required. Captain Howard, chief of artillery, was prompt and untiring in his duty and always ready to cheerfully execute all directions and orders in a true, spirited manner. He and his officers are all worthy of my best thanks. The cavalry, under command of Major Wetherill, were all that could be desired, caring well for their horses. They performed their arduous duty in such a manner as to prove beyond a doubt that in case of greater emergency their pride will always be "to horse," and their results a faithful execution of existing orders. Major Stratton, who first led the cavalry before that arrival of Major Wetherill, performed his duty in his usual thorough manner, and is to my command a very useful and valuable officer.
Colonel Dodge reported at the Deserted House with 200 cavalry, and very kindly offered his services in any manner I might suggest. His urbanity and politeness is worthy of emulation. The entire command, through rain, mud, and water, are deserving of my warmest commendation in expressing their readiness at any moment to execute any orders and under any circumstances.
I am, sir, very respectfully, &c.,
S. P. SPEAR,
Colonel Eleventh Pennsylvania Vol. Cav., Commanding Expedition.
Major B. B. FOSTER,
JANUARY 9, 1863.-Skirmish near Providence Church, Va.
Report of Major General John J. Peck, U. S. Army.
FORT MONROE, VA., January 15, 1863.
The Richmond papers are boasting that General Pryor repulsed our troops near Providence Church on the 9th instant. The following dispatch of the 10th from General Peck give the true version of the affair. The attack was repulsed by our Mounted Rifles, under Major [James N.] Wheelan. It is due to the latter to our troops that the truth should